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Havas Media names first national head of planning

Havas Media Network has promoted Alastair Baker into the newly created role of national head of planning.

Baker, who was previously head of strategy for Melbourne, has already commenced the new role, and is expected to introduced a refreshed planning process and improved tool strategy for the network in 2024.

It is the second head of strategy role to be left open at the agency, after Danni Dimitri exited the same role in Sydney to head up strategy at indie agency Hatched’s newly opened Sydney office.

Mumbrella understands the changes are aligned to a broader review of the agency’s national footprint, with further talent announcements expected to be made in the new year.

As national head of planning, Baker’s focus will be on driving profitable growth for Havas’ clients in the short and long term, developing tools, processes and structures that will support the seamless integration of the network’s capabilities, including ecommerce, digital performance, search, content, activation and paid media teams.

With more than 13 years of experience across media creative and digital agencies in the UK and Australia, Baker held roles at iProspect Melbourne, Fetch London and Vizeum London, prior to joining Havas in 2021.

Of the appointment, Havas Media Network CEO Virginia Hyland said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have Alastair accept the role of national head of planning at a time when marketers are feeling the loaded pressure from their businesses to do more with the same or lower budgets.”

She continued: “This challenge creates opportunity for Alastair to develop agency solutions that enable clients’ businesses to grow well through understanding who to best engage and deliver influential campaigns. Alastair’s role will mean that Havas Media continues to transform into a new style of agency that better aligns to the challenges faced by marketers on a daily basis. He is such a talent, and we are excited to have him join our leadership team.”

Baker said he was “energised by the opportunity to develop new data, tech and process solutions” to drive sustainable growth for clients.

“We’re consistently seeking ways to better connect our media, content and CX services to drive mutual benefits for clients.”

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